The Blink Indoor is a long-running smart camera solution from the Amazon-owned security camera company. Now in its third generation, the Blink Indoor offers a capable compromise between price (not much) with features (just enough) to ensure you can get a smart home security system up and running with little trouble.
Specs and features
The Blink Indoor contains a 1080p camera, with a 110-degree field of view – just enough to get a broad overview of the camera’s surroundings, whether you’re looking into a room or out of a window into the world beyond. With a 30fps frame rate, and a night-vision feature, the Blink Indoor can clearly make out objects in motion, whatever the time of day.
There’s a basic motion sensor feature, which will automatically send you a notification when something moves into the camera’s field of view. The app allows you to ‘arm’ or ‘disarm’ this setting, though it’s worth noting that there’s no audio sensor working in tandem, as with some competitor devices.
Blink is an Amazon-owned company, which means it supports the Alexa voice assistant as standard.
The Blink Indoor will likely be the most effective in tandem with a broader smart home ecosystem. The Sync Module – that comes packaged with the Indoor camera – can support up to 10 Blink devices, allowing for a more thorough overview of your home. It’s a little irritating to have to juggle two devices, which look nearly identical, but it does act as a jumping-off point for multiple Blink cameras if you so wish.
However, you can also link the Blink Indoor up with Echo Show devices, for an easy way to tune into the video feed from elsewhere in the house. Echo Show 8, Echo Show 10, and Echo Show 15 even allow you to view multiple feeds simultaneously on the single screen, like a security guard in a James Bond movie.
You will, as ever, need to buy a subscription to access cloud storage for your video clips, though the Sync Module can store up to 256GB of photo and video files locally, as long as you attach your own USB drive (not included) to the USB-A port in the side of the module.
Build and handling
The Blink Indoor’s greatest strength is its shape. At 71 x 71 x 31mm, it’s a relatively slim device, and easy to slip onto a bookshelf or windowsill without dominating part of the room.
This is a wire-free model, meaning it runs on two (included) AA Lithium batteries, with an estimated battery life of two years – or a little less, if you increase the length of video clips in the Blink app’s settings, or end up using its motion sensing feature quite a lot.
The back of the device can be unscrewed by the included plastic key, revealing space for two AA batteries and the QR code you’ll need to set up the device on the Blink mobile app. Two tasteful rubber covers conceal the opening and a microUSB port (in case you’d rather use a charging cable over the batteries).
There is also the option to screw the Blink Indoor into a wall, with a simple attachment that can pivot the precise angle of the camera – not quite as flexible as the Arlo Essential Spotlight, but enough to get control over where the Indoor is aimed.
The Blink app is workable, but with a few quirks that are worth being aware of. There’s a meager two-second delay to the video feed, and you’ll have to repeatedly hit a ‘Continue?’ button to keep live viewing active, which is a little irritating. It’s really designed for quick check-ups rather than sustained surveillance, which is worth keeping in mind.
You’ll get immediate notifications of a motion alert, though you’ll have to go into the app and check out the latest clip recording in order to see what went down.
When viewing live, you can switch the two-way audio on or off, hold to speak, or save the current video session to local/cloud storage. The two-way audio is perfectly functional, if a little tinny – while you can get basic messages across, it’s not the best medium for an in-depth conversation.
One of the best features is an auto-photo setting, which takes a single image every hour, at a slightly reduced 640x360 resolution. It’s a great way to get snapshots of your home, especially if you’re away for a significant period of time.
Video is as good as you can expect at this price range – with a pleasing monochrome clarity when the infrared camera turns on at night. This will happen automatically when the environment gets too dim, and the camera quality is perfectly up to the task.
Blink Indoor: Verdict
The Blink Indoor is a cheap, but effective smart security camera. While it lacks the premium features or thoughtful app design of some higher-end competitors, it’s a workable smart home solution for those wanting to keep an eye out in a certain location. With immediate motion alerts, 1080p/30fps video, and infrared recording for the late hours, you have everything you need here to start feeling safe in your home. If you can get used to some of the quirks of the Blink app, there’s little here to complain about.
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